Concluding with A Reflection

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SWBAT to craft a conclusion that shows reflection of their meaningful moment in order to complete their memoir.

Big Idea

“People smile in trouble, gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection.” –Thomas Paine

Lesson Opener

10 minutes

In my lesson openers I always have a "connect" in which I connect students' thinking about yesterday's lesson to today's lesson. I then have a "teach" in which I model for students the lesson of the day and also have them try it out. When I think about my modeling I use three categories; skill, strategy, and process. I model by stating the skill to the students, then giving them a strategy in which to use the skill, followed by the process to try out the strategy.

Connect: I will say, “Wow, writers, we have been writing a lot over this past week. You have turned in three drafts of your best memoir writing. Today we are going to concentrate on the conclusion of our memoir, the reflection. Many of you have added reflective conclusions in your memoirs, but I want you to revise them today to really show your growth as a person from your experience.”

Teach: Today we are going to learn how to show the readers of our memoirs how important this moment was to us. We are going to show our learning and growth about the moment we have written about in our conclusion which serves as our reflection. I am going to practice the skill of concluding my writing and the strategy of using reflective prompts.

The process I will use is as follows:

1) Re-read mentor texts to read examples of reflections

2) Ask myself: Have I fully shown my learning from my experiences?

3) Use the writing prompts to start or revise my reflection for one memoir

4) Complete two more reflections for my two other drafts  in my writers notebook

I will show the students how I re-read “Fist, Stick, Knife, Gun” by Geoffrey Canada and the excerpt from “Black Boy” to show examples of published reflections. I will then show the students how I use the mentor texts to start my own reflection.

Active Engagment

5 minutes

Active Engagement: I will say,Pick one of the drafts you are going to work with today. Pick a prompt off the anchor chart. Turn and tell your partner, the first sentence of your reflection (I will listen in). I will check for understanding by listening in to every level of learner (at least 3 students-one who is at standard, one is approaching standard, and one who is above standard). I will check for understanding by listening in to every level of learner (at least 3 students-one who is at standard, one is approaching standard, and one who is above standard). I am listening to see that they are stretching their thinking to show deep learning.

Closing of Active Engagement: I will say, “Remember, successful writers use the skill of concluding their writing with a reflection that shows learning from their experiences. They use the strategy of using reflective prompts. The process they use is re-read mentor texts to read examples of reflections. They ask themselves, Have I fully shown my learning from my experiences? They then using the writing prompts and complete at least three drafts of revisions of their reflections. 

Independent Practice

25 minutes

Independent Practice: I will say, “Now you are going to write out your reflections in your writers notebook. You should at least have three drafts or revised drafts.” They should write for at least 25 minutes if not more. At this point in the unit, some of my writers have writers fatigue. This anchor chart has come in handy for this!

As they are working independently and quietly, (I like to play classical or smooth jazz for “writing” music (I just create a play list on Pandora Internet radio) I will confer with them about their writing by using the attached conferences chart.

Partner Work: Students will be directed to turn and share one of the reflections they have crafted. I will say, “Decide who will be partner A and who will be partner B. Partner A you will share your best reflection. Partner B, I want you to listen if Part A was showing you their learning from their experience. Then you will switch. Give your partner feedback as to how they could add more meaning. I should hear, "Maybe you could add...or I liked how you used...I will add something similar to my writing."



5 minutes

I believe that the end of the lesson should be an assessment of the days’ learning; therefore it should be independent work. I always end class with an “exit ticket” in which students write down the response to a question.

Closing: Jot down the sentence from your reflection that shows your best learning and thinking about your experience.